Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Current Bibliography

Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Current Bibliography

Article excerpt

News of Publications

It has always been a mystery to me why classical collectors, for all their intelligence, articulateness and--presumably--money, have not produced the same general discographies and historical journals as have collectors in other genres. Jazz collectors keep up to date with the comprehensive and continually updated Jazz Records (Rust) and Jazz Discography (Lord), rock fans have Whitburn's chart books and Goldmine magazine, machine collectors can turn to such fine publications as The Sound Box and the Fabrizio-Paul series of picture books. But the last big, general classical "discography" came out half a century ago (World's Encyclopedia of Recorded Music, 1952), and classical journals have been few and far between.

A recent exception, England's Classic Record Collector, has again hit choppy waters. Founded in 1995 as International Classical Record Collector, it has so far been through four changes of ownership. The latest, Newsquest, decided to close it down in early 2008 and pulled it from stores. At the last minute it was reacquired by its original editor, Alan Sanders. Tully Potter, the erudite editor for the past 11 years, has graciously (and we suspect wearily) stepped down and Sanders is now attempting to get the publication back on a solid footing, while continuing to turn out regular issues.

Of course there is still the venerable Record Collector (for golden age vocal recordings) and International Piano (still run by Newsquest), and there are splendid articles from time to time in broadly-focused publications such as the ARSC Journal, but CRC has a breadth of coverage, both historical and current, and a singularity of focus that we hope is not lost.

Publications dedicated exclusively to reviews are normally not mentioned here, but a relatively new classical review magazine is International Record Review (www.recordreview.co.uk), launched in 2000 to compete with the venerable Gramophone (www.gramophone.co.uk). Another excellent review publication, Black Grooves, is found exclusively online (www.blackgrooves.com). Published by the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University and edited by ARSC's own Brenda Nelson-Strauss, it covers all manner of black-oriented CDs, from reissues of century-old recordings (my own Lost Sounds CD) to the latest hip-hop releases, in all genres of music. It's very up-to-date technologically, with links to artist and label websites and even embedded video clips (with one click you can watch the artists while you read about them!). It is published monthly and, best of all, is free.

As you might imagine I see a lot of fine articles while researching "Current Bibliography," and one that stands out this time is "Bringing a Dead Edison Home Back to Life" by Anthony Sinclair in the March through June 2008 issues of In the Groove. You don't have to be interested in phonographs or repairing them to be drawn into the author's excellent adventure as he takes on, as a self-challenge, a cylinder phonograph in the most dreadful condition he could find (warped and rotted wood, badly rusted metal, dented mandrel, frozen mainspring) and sets about to restore it to pristine condition, while retaining as many original parts as possible. A master craftsman out to test his own limits. Engagingly written, it's an adventure worthy of This Old House (or maybe Pygmalion?).

Let's Go Surfing

Such a big Internet, so little time! Let's boot up and dive right in. Want to browse the 145,000 78 rpm holdings of King's College, London, without traveling there? An inventory is at www.kcl.ac.uk/kis/schools/hums/music/ksa/. It's rudimentary (label and catalog number only), but if you simply want to know what they have it'll do. Most are British issues, many from the BBC library; there are also some audio files and links. Discographies for about a dozen European labels are at www.lotz-verlag.de/ OnlineDiscographies. …

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